Early Years BA (Hons) top-up

Be part of the graduate children’s workforce of the future and shape the changes that will make a difference in children’s early lives UCAS Code: P9K7

One Year
1 day and-a-half per week
Theory & Practical

Entry Requirements: Foundation Degree Early Years, or equivalent

Course Info

This programme is perfect for those working with children and young people that have previously completed the Foundation Degree in Early Years – also offered at the University Centre – or another Level 5 qualification in Early Years/Childhood Studies. 

It provides a progression route for students wishing to be part of the graduate children’s workforce of the future and it will be a significant step toward achieving Early Years Teacher Status or Qualified Teacher Status should you wish. 

From September 2021 you will also be able to opt to undertake the Graduate Practitioner Competencies (GPC). Successful completion of these competencies alongside your degree will mean you will be awarded Graduate Practitioner Status (GPS). Gaining recognition for Graduate Practitioner Competencies (level 6) is supported by the Early Childhood Studies Degree Network (ECSDN) and is recognised in the Department for Education’s career progression map. 

The programme team has worked in partnership with employers to develop a newly refocused programme which is relevant and progressive allowing practitioners to further enhance their skills, knowledge and abilities. 

Modules to be studied are: 

  • Collaborative Approaches to Research 
  • Child in Society 
  • Child Health and Wellbeing 
  • Becoming a Change Agent 
  • Dissertation 

This programme should challenge and encourage you to ask questions of yourself and your role and deepen your understanding of early years. 

Important Links:

  • Click HERE for the programme specification.
  • For a full list of the University Centre’s regulations and policies please click HERE
  • Click HERE for The Open University Regulations for Validated Awards


Your teaching will include tutor- and student-led sessions, with discussions, activities, group-work, seminars, and one-to-one tutorial opportunities. You will be in an enriching and immersive learning environment, which will enhance your development as a critical thinker. 

One of the key strengths of our teaching at the University Centre is the amount of time we dedicate to supporting you as an individual student to help you get the best out of your programme. One-to-one tutorials with your tutor are important as they allow you to raise any particular issues you may be facing. Your tutor will be as supportive as possible in helping you work through these issues. 

Lecturer Profiles

Course Leader: Joe Lockwood, BA (Hons), PGCE, MA, MSET, is an experienced practitioner in a range of sectors including Social Care, Early Years, and the Voluntary and Community Sector. Joe has over 20 years’ experience in working in Disabled Children’s Services, with particular focus on working with those with complex medical needs, and Autism. A Member of The Society for Education and Training (MSET), she has presented at the annual Education and Training Foundation national conference.

Lecturer: Clare Dean, BA (Hons), EYPS, has over 18 years’ experience including as manager of a private early years setting and safeguarding lead. Her professional focus on Autism and Leadership & Management has led her to work with the local authority multidisciplinary team and quality improvement team on supporting children with additional needs, and pioneering work implementing various government and local initiatives. With extensive experience of delivering accredited and non-accredited professional training courses from entry to level 2, her background also includes volunteering in Romania with children and families with complex needs and in Italy in a Reggio Emilia setting.

Entry Requirements & Interview Process

This is a Level 6 programme and you will normally be expected to have an undergraduate qualification worth 240 credit points related area, of which 120 should be at Level 5. This will usually be the Foundation Degree Early Years – also delivered at the University Centre. It may also be another foundation degree or HND in a relevant subject area.

Applicants should also have a GCSE English at Grade C or Grade 4 or above. Those wishing to continue onto Primary Teaching qualifications following the course will need to have Maths and Science at GCSE Grade C or Grade 4 also.

Suitably qualified overseas applicants may be required to evidence a good level of English by achieving a minimum of International English Language Testing System (IELTS 6.0) or Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL: 550 or equivalent).

There are no appointed placements undertaken in this course however there is the expectation that potential students either be in full- or part-time employment, undertaking at least 16 hours voluntary or paid employment per week in an early years setting.

Applicants who demonstrate that they have met the academic requirements, thought about the appropriateness of the programme, have a clear idea of their progression route and have the relevant personal skills and qualities will be invited to interview.

The University Centre actively supports claims for Recognition of Prior Learning. You must show how the learning you have already completed matches the learning that is required on the programme you are applying for. 

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